All regular season long the players of the NHL fight to make it to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Known as the second season, this season is where legends are made. Forget what you did in the regular season. Those stats are wiped clean and it is all about what you could do now.
The postseason has left fans of the NHL with some incredible moments. Everyone remembers the goal scored by Bobby Orr in the Stanley Cup final, leaving us with the iconic picture of him flying in the air. Also, let us not forget “The Guarantee.” With the New York Rangers down 3-2 going into Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals, captain Mark Messier came out saying the Rangers would win the game to force a Game 7, and what did he do? He scored the hat trick, leading the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.
It is playoff performances like those that make NHL fans say nothing can compare to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Could they be wrong? Well for one, it is one of the hardest trophies to win. At most a team can play up to 28 games, and the fewest amount of 16.
Then there are the players who seem to be snake bitten in the playoffs. No matter how good they are in the regular season, they seem to struggle in the postseason. They could do everything right besides scoring or making the big save they are known for. It is a sad thing because you know how good the players are, but that doesn’t stop you from getting frustrated at the player.
These are the players we love in the regular season, yet in the postseason we died by.
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15 Nicklas Backstrom
While Alex Ovechkin always gets most of the heat when Washington regularly finds themselves eliminated by the second round, it's a little unfair, because Ovechkin actually has really good playoff numbers with 70 points in 72 playoff games.
Nicklas Backstrom deserves some heat being Washington's top centre, as he has just 51 points in 71 playoff games. Ovechkin is still the Caps' best forward in the playoffs, but many of his teammates don't pick up the slack when things get tighter.
14 Carey Price
The Montreal Canadiens live and die by Carey Price. Unfortunately for the Canadiens, Price has been bitten with the injury bug the last few years. Yet, that isn’t the only bug the goaltender has gotten bitten by.
He is also very avergae in the postseason. Once again being hurt a lot doesn’t help your cause but when you have an overall playoff record (23-27-6) where you have more losses than wins it doesn’t help. Also, when you have a save percentage of .912 it shows your struggles.
Price and the Canadiens were the hottest team in the league at the start of the season, but once he went down to injury the Habs have been one of the worst.
13 Marc-Andre Fleury
It’s hard to put a Stanley Cup winning goalie on the list, yet, when you look at his stats past the 2009 Cup they are not pretty.
In the 2013 playoffs Fleury had a save percentage of .891 and from 2010-13 his save percentage for the playoffs averaged .881.
The numbers don’t lie and for Fleury he had an awful showing in the 2013 Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Islanders. Fleury was so bad at times that in the pivotal Game 5 head coach at the time Dan Bylsma went to backup Tomas Vokoun.
Sorry Fleury, but the numbers don’t lie.
12 T.J. Oshie
The American-born hockey star had a great showing at the 2014 Winter Olympics for the United States. He was known for his great success in the shootouts. Which is why when it came down to it in a game vs. Russia he faced Sergei Bobrovsky five consecutive times and converted on four of his six attempt including the game-winner.
Nonetheless, his success in the NHL playoffs is very slim. Playing in 30 playoff games for the Blues, he had 5 goals, 4 assists and was a minus-12.
Oshie and the Washington Capitals are hoping that his new team with All-Star Alexander Ovechkin can turn his playoff slump around.
11 Tyler Seguin
The Canadian-born center has had some playoff experience under his belt with the Boston Bruins and the Dallas stars. The center was not performing like the Bruins would had like so the shipped him off the Dallas, where he has really found his regular season game.
That being said, he still struggled in his last playoff appearance. He has played in four playoff seasons and has a positive plus/minus but he is lacking in the goals and assist department. In the 48 games played in he has 7 goals and 14 assists. Compared to the 2012-13 season where he played 48 games and had 16 goals and 16 assists.
10 Roberto Luongo
When playing on Vancouver, Luongo and the Canucks made various playoff appearances. Yet, Luongo only played in 52 out of the 60 appearances.
Luongo’s playoff record (32-31) is just above .500 and he averages a save percentage of .916. In the 2010 playoffs his save percentage was .895 and in 2012 it was at .891 definitely not where he wants it to be. In the 2012 playoffs Luongo only appeared in two games where he lost them both.
For the Florida Panthers, Luongo and the organization are confident they will turn around his recent struggles.
9 Troy Brouwer
For the Capitals, trading Troy Brower to the St. Louis Blues for T.J. Oshie seems to be a decent trade. Both players struggled playoff wise and are regular season players.
In the postseason for the Capitals, Brouwer was a disappointment. Appearing in 78 games you would hope for at least 15 goals from the forward considering in 82 games last season he collected 21.
However, that is not the case. He has a total of 7 goals, 12 assists and is a minus-5 in postseason play.
There is a good possibility of the Blues making an appearance in the playoffs this year, does the change of scenery help the forward?
8 Andrei Markov
Andrei Markov has long been a good soldier for the Canadiens and has had many solid regular seasons. Ask any Habs fan though and they'll tell you how much Markov's game always seems to dip in the playoffs.
In 83 playoff games, Markov has 31 points and is a minus-6, whereas he's a career plus-50 in the regular season. At 37 years old, there isn't much time left for Markov to turn this trend around.
7 Patrick Marleau – San Jose Sharks
The 36-year-old former first round second overall pick has been everything the Sharks could ask for. Scoring goals and gathering assists during the regular season. However, if there was one part of his game where he struggles it would be the postseason.
Marleau has played in 147 postseason games and while he has a decent amount of goals and assist (60g, 43a) you still expect more from him considering how valuable to the team he is. The number that is pretty low for this forward is his plus/minus as he is a minus-11.
6 Evgeni Nabokov
The Russian-born goaltender just recently retired from the NHL, however, before he hung up the skates he had a great career mainly with the Sharks.
He spent 10 years with the Sharks, and was the first goaltender to ever score a power play goal in NHL history. He also was the second goalie to record three consecutive 40 win seasons. Yet, his postseason performance was mediocre.
Playing in 86 postseason games (42-42-8) his record is nothing short from horrible. In his 2006 playoff appearance he played one game and had a save percentage of .750 while also having a save percentage under .900 twice in his career.
5 Alexander Semin
Semin was a first round pick for the Washington Capitals in 2002. He has played most his career there until he signed with the Carolina Hurricanes and most recently played for the Montreal Canadiens.
The Russian born winger has been referred to as playing lazy on the defensive end. His postseason numbers are not spectacular. In 51 games he has just 15 goals, 19 assists and is a minus one.
Semin will not be able to try and fix his playoff numbers as he is no longer in the league. Playing with the Canadiens this season they went to send him to the AHL and he refused to show up, terminating his contract. Semin returned to Russia and is now in the KHL.
4 Jason Pominville
The former captain of the Buffalo Sabres has had a nice career in the NHL. The one-time NHL All-Star spent eight seasons with the Sabres and currently plays with the Minnesota Wild. He had his fair share of seasons in the NHL where he put up numbers.
Yet, the postseason has not been a friend of his. In the regular season Pominville is a plus-57, however, in the postseason he is minus-4 with 17 goals and 26 assists in 70 games.
With the Wild still in the hunt Pominville has the chance to fix his upsetting postseason numbers.
3 Thomas Vanek
The former fifth overall draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres is currently playing for the Minnesota Wild and has had a great regular seasons, with over 300 career goals.
He has played with Buffalo, the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens and the Minnesota Wild. When playing for the Islanders he was mediocre and was traded for pretty much nothing.
Now, for the postseason Vanek is non-existent. He hasn’t played many games in the post season, just 60 to be exact, yet, he has 20 goals and 14 assists and is a minus-16.
2 Ilya Kovalchuk
The first overall draft pick from the 2001 draft is no longer in the NHL. Kind of shocking considering the how successful he was in the regular season. He even made news with the 17-year, $102 million deal he signed to remain with the Devils just to retire two years later.
The postseason was not friendly with the Russian winger. In the 32 games he has played he has scored only 11 goals, 16 assists and is a minus-8.
Apparently the playoffs in the KHL are not his friends either, as he was just stripped of his captaincy and scratched from the playoff lineup.
1 Rick Nash
Another first overall pick that has seemed to lack scoring when it matters the most. Rick Nash has been a nice addition to the lineup for the New York Rangers, even having career year last season scoring 42 goals.
Nonetheless, the playoffs and Nash don’t get along. In his 60 playoff games he has just 10 goals, with 22 assists. The scoring isn’t there for him in the big games. However, not noted is everything else he does in these games.
Although he isn’t doing the main thing he gets paid for, he is killing penalties and throwing his body around. Yet, the critics are all over him because the lack of scoring.
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